Literary Criticism

The Trouble with Strangers

In Placeless People, literary language is shown to have its own kind of agency in redressing this dynamic. Metaphor becomes a node of connection between thought and word, word and action, action and the formation of new kinds of political and ethical communities. The agency of literary language is generative and it is also interrogative. Stonebridge’s writers ask what it is to be placeless so that we know how to be citizens; their acts of questioning seek to erode the distinction between these two categories of being.

The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Disability

Where are all the disabled writers?

Disappointingly, however, the majority of chapters in the Cambridge Companion to Literature and Disability, continue the erasure of disability from literary history that is already so prevalent in culture. Overall the book fosters the impression that disabled people either don’t write much, or don’t write much of value.

Literary Criticism A Concise Political History by Joseph North

So Far, So Left?: Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History by Joseph North

I think it would be a mistake to read Literary Criticism as simply another history of twentieth-century criticism. The tendentious and programmatic shaving down of local complexities allows North to sharpen his polemic into manifesto-like poignancy. One of the peculiarities of the manifesto is that it presumes the existence of something it is actually engaged in creating. This, I think, accounts for the odd yet telling choice to name a book after a practice that in its own account has been off the disciplinary map for at least the last few decades.

The Bughouse by Daniel Swift book cover

Old Master, Old Monster: The Bughouse by Daniel Swift

'The trouble is that The Bughouse is constantly outgrowing its own status as a work of interpretation without quite turning into the thing it might be – a biography which is also a work of intrinsic literary quality. What we tend to get is a kind of travelogue and personal journey into the environs of Pound’s incarceration.'

Michelle Cahill
Cigarette smuggling with a book
The Free Mind Essays and Poems in Honour of Barry Spurr

Campus Conservative

'Despite all the scandal, this book will be a great contribution to many different levels of thinking and fields of research. I would like to stress the significant contributions on the predicament of the humanities in the universities today. The ‘Barry Spurr incident’ showed how sensitive we still are about the humanities and how precarious and fragile still remains their civilising role in modern society.'

The Maximalist Novel by Stefano Ercolino

Maximalist Cosmos: An Interview with Stefano Ercolino

Large works that will strain the hands.

Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty and Truth by A. O. Scott

Expert Textpert: The Limits of Critique & Better Living Through Criticism

‘Anyone who has spent some time in a library hanging around in the vicinity of the low 800s will know that, for all their variety and intricacy, methodological arguments about the interpretation of literature invariably organise themselves around a small number of seemingly unavoidable conflicts, which are constantly being reinvented and given different weight by different schools of thought.’ James Ley on new books on criticism by Rita Felski, A.O. Scott. And Damon Young

The View From Nowhere: Forget English! & Born Translated

‘The idea of world literature, taken as a whole rather than divided into many national or linguistically based literatures, is a paradoxical one. How can we speak of a “literature” that encompasses far too many languages to master in a single lifetime? Does the term refer to the totality of all the literature in the world, or does it imply a project of canonisation—and if so, who gets to decide which works are included? For the purposes of the study of literature, what constitutes the “world”? The last question might seem the easiest to answer: the world is where we live, the ground beneath our feet. But it's a more slippery concept than that.’